The One

So, I am back with my masterlist of middle names that go with Athena. They have their own shortcomings, but if I had to choose one, it’d be from this list. It’s been getting incredibly difficult to think about names since I tend to get stuck at one point, and this is a topic I’ve been debating for the past two years.

Comparatively, I have little to no doubts regarding my boys list. I want to get this done now, so I get to say, “X is my favourite name, XZ is my favourite combo” without hesitating. Help me choose The One.


  • Athena Emerald - “green gemstone” - Emeralds are one of my favourite gemstones – and now one of my favourite girl names too. I have tons of personal meaning with it, something rare for my girl names. Emeralds were a favourite gemstone of Cleopatra and are also given as offerings to Aphrodite & Lord Krishna. They are associated with the heart chakra and promote emotional healing and physical well-being in turn, as well as with the planet Mercury. Emeralds also symbolise fidelity, power, wealth, eternal love and royalty. Personally, I associate them with the Emerald Isle, the Emerald City of Oz, May’s gemstone and one other that I’d like to keep private. Needless to say, I do have a lot of associations with this name. She is gorgeous, she is that girl. I am only worried about how it sounds. I don’t want it to stick-out a lot, which would probably be my reasoning behind using names like Charlotte or Louise with it.

  • Athena Esmeray - “dark moon” - I have been in love with this name ever since I first saw it. It is bewitching. I love it’s heavenly meaning, and it fulfills my wish for a celestial name. However, it’s Turkish, and I have no connections to Turkish culture whatsoever. For the same reasons as Emerald, it does seem unique but I’m willing to give it a pass.

  • Athena Helike - “crack-willow” - In mythology, Helike nursed Zeus in Crete. It is also the ancient name of the constellation Ursa Major. Helike’s meaning indicates that she may have been a willow-nymph. It sounds a bit too much like ‘he likes ___’ and does not honour my heritage.

  • Athena Lilith - “belonging to the night” - I know what some have to say about Lilith. It’s been something that has kept me from using it. Do the -th sounds run into each other?

  • Athena Maeve - “she who intoxicates” - I had a phase where I loved Maeve whole-heartedly. She got really popular though, so my affection for her faded away. Both names strike ‘divine feminine’ to me, something I love. It is a part-honour for my heritage.

  • Athena Marigold - “golden flower” - Marigolds have a vast history. In Spain, the flowers were the favorites to be placed on the altar of the Virgin Mary. Eventually they became known as Mary’s Gold and hence, marigold. In Mexico and Central America, marigolds are used to honour the dead, and are known as flor de muertos or cempaxochitl . They are also considered an important flower in India. Marigolds represent the sun and symbolise power, happiness, strength and inner light. In theory, this is similar to Emerald, but I’m still not sure about her.

  • Athena Morrigan - “phantom queen” - The mythological Morrigan was the ancient goddess of war, often symbolized by a crow. Besides being a name, this is also used as a proper noun preceded by an article: the Morrigan, defined as a monster in female form. The meaning of Morrigan has been related to both terror and greatness. Like Maeve, it is strong and definitely my vibe. I am willing to ignore any and all problems that come with it, except one: is the sound too harsh?

  • Athena Nyx - “night” - I love this name more than anything. I have a profound connection with the night. The night gives me a sense of calmness, one like nothing else can give me. Nyx was depicted as a either a winged goddess or charioteer, sometimes crowned with an aureole of dark mists. It is said that even Zeus feared her. My issue with the name: is it too associated with the makeup brand? I think, since it is only in the middle spot, it can be overlooked, but I’d like your opinions.

  • Athena Náttsól - “midnight sun” - Look at how beautiful the meaning is! I am not Icelandic though, so I wonder if it would be a problem, amongst other things. I don’t live in an area where accent marks are accepted and I predict that the name will be butchered by many.

  • Athena Odile - “prosperous in battle” - Odile is the black swan maiden and the secondary antagonist in Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Her opposite is Odette, the white swan maiden, who is the heroine of the ballet while Odile is the antagonist. In some productions, Odile is known as the Black Swan. I am in love with it, but is it not suited to a baby? NB’s entry describes it as sinuous and sensual, not exactly words I’d use to describe a baby’s name.

  • Athena Primrose - “first rose” - I used to think this name would be perfect for a first daughter. Roses are one of my favourite flowers, and of most people. It conjures a sweet image, really. In the Victorian language of flowers, primroses’ association with youth and young love means “I can’t live without you.” Across cultures, primroses signify spring, protection, safety, and love. It’s been on mind since this subject was born but I can’t commit to it.

  • Athena Rosalind - “gentle horse; pretty rose” - Rosalind is a name that I have several times with, and I like this more than Primrose if I had to pair it with Athena. Rosalind appears in William Shakespeare’s As You Like It and Edmund Spencer’s The Shepheardes Calender. It is also the name of one of Uranus’s moons. Rosalind is also a nod to Rosalind Franklin, a scientist who discovered the molecular structure of DNA. I am not a fan of the -lind ending though, and that’s the only thing keeping me back.

  • Athena Rumi - “lapis lazuli” - I love Rumi, because it is short yet sweet. I love Rumi’s works so this would be a good homage to him. However, Athena and Rumi seem two worlds apart to me. They’re so different from one another that I can’t fathom using them together.

  • Athena Saffron - “spice” - Saffron has been one of the first names that I liked. I love how cute it sounds but absolutely believe it is wearable. I am not one for nicknames usually, but I think Saffy or Sappho would be adorable. As the world’s most expensive spice, Saffron has long been associated with wealth and fortune. As with all my other names, I am just not sure with it.

  • Athena Saraswati - “possessing water” - Most of the Sanskrit names start and end with A, which make them difficult to pair with Athena. Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, learning, music, and the arts. She is also a river goddess, associated with the mythical Saraswati river, which played an important part in the Vedic texts. It would definitely be considered traditional in India as well. I wouldn’t use it as a first, which makes me wonder if I should use it as a second.

  • Athena Shakti - “power” - Much like Saraswati, I wouldn’t use Shakti as a first so it bothers me to use it as a middle. In mythology, she was the wife of Lord Shiva, his other-half. Their names are always taken in conjoinment, for they are incomplete without each other. Shakti is the primordial female energy of the universe.

  • Athena Viatrix - “voyager” - I know many would prefer Beatrix/Beatrice to this, but I remember being absolutely obsessed with it a while back and wished for the opportunity to give a child this name. I think that feeling has gone away, for better or for worse. I like a lot of -trix/-ix names but I do feel they’re too out-there, Viatrix included.

  • Athena Wednesday - “Woden’s day” - Although many would associate it with the character, Berries and Non-Berried alike, I see it as an added bonus. I loved the character and the show, but it wouldn’t be the only reason I love it. I was born on a Wednesday so it has that link to me.


So, that’s it! I feel like the list wasn’t that fulfilling and I listed more cons than pros, but that’s my list for now. I probably left out a few names that I’d catch up on later. What are your opinions on/favourites from this list? I am open to suggestions as well! Thank you.

[name_f]May[/name_f] favourites on this list:

[name_f]Athena[/name_f] [name_f]Wednesday[/name_f] - full of mystical charm and power, but also fun and charming too

[name_f]Athena[/name_f] [name_f]Rosalind[/name_f] - powerful with great namesakes and refs behind it

[name_f]Athena[/name_f] [name_f]Primrose[/name_f] - balanced between gentle floral, and sparky sass

[name_f]Athena[/name_f] [name_f]Emerald[/name_f] - magical imagery and style

1 Like

Hello! I understand that feeling of getting stuck and not wanting to move on until you get this one thing sorted! Although I won’t be having any more children, I would very likely have named a daughter Marianne, but I don’t know what her middle name(s) would be and this bugs me!

These are mostly personal reactions to your names, so please take these opinions with the pinches of salt that they deserve!

Athena Emerald - both stunning, stunning names! I like them together but I don’t love them together the way I love them individually. I find Agnes Emerald, from your UC, much more spectacular. I think Emerald lifts Agnes with her gorgeous gemstone qualities, but she pales a little beside Athena. To me, Athena is so sparkly, zippy and exciting, so much so that she outshines Emerald and I end up feeling like Emerald’s slightly clunky sounds are more prominent instead.

Alternative suggestions - Athena Esther, Athena Esteri, Athena Elowen, Athena Elestren, Athena Liriel.

Athena Esmeray - this is my favourite. This combo works so well for me. Esmeray has that hushed midnight magic softness to her that balances Athena’s bold sparkles without losing out to her in any way - I find them perfectly complementary. I totally understand your reservations with using a Turkish name when you have no connections to that culture. (I adore Marianne Esmeray for my imaginary daughter!) @ethelmary I’d be interested in your perspective on the use of Esmeray.

Athena Helike - new to me!

Alternative suggestions: Leto, Hecate, Helix, Haleli, Kurshid, Heulwen, Juno, Savitri

Athena Lilith - yeah, it is a little bit lispy to say with the two ‘th’ sounds. I think the double L sounds make it quite difficult to say as well, Athena Edith flows ok for me, with that long E sound and the D separating the ‘th’ sounds.

Alternative Suggestions - Lluvia, Lilith, Lilou, Lilac / Lilach, Lilias, Lilit (BtN gives this as the Armenian version of Lilith, though I don’t know how it is pronounced), Lillemor, Lilyrose, Lilivere

1 Like

It’s just a compound word name with no cultural significance. I can’t speak for the whole nation obviously but to me it’s 100% okay to use!

3 Likes

@Greyblue Thank you so much for your opinions! Those would be my favourites too.

@EdgeOfTheMeadow I really like [name_f]Liriel[/name_f], [name_f]Esteri[/name_f], [name_f]Hecate[/name_f], [name_f]Heulwen[/name_f], [name_u]Juno[/name_u], [name_f]Lilac[/name_f], [name_f]Lilias[/name_f] & Lilivere as suggestions! Thank you :heart:

@ethelmary thank you for the viewpoint!

3 Likes